LEGISLATIVE UPDATE : January 21-25, 2019
On The Floor:
PROTECTING VICTIM STATEMENTS — Relief for victims or victim’s families does not end at sentencing. Victims are asked to relive past pains during at parole hearings. The Senate this week passed S.94 to allow for the submission of a film, videotape or written electronic information may be used victim’s statement or victim’s family statement for consideration by Board of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in making its determination of parole. The same videotape or other information may be submitted for subsequent parole hearings each time if a person provides an affirmative written statement that the information represents the present position of the office or person.
PROMOTING EARLY DETECTION OF ALZHEIMER’S — The Senate passed a bill, S.205, to include to the duties of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Resource Coordination Center to provide additional duties to facilitate and coordinate early detection and educational initiatives for health care providers.
PROPERTY RIGHTS OF THE VULNERABLE — Rights of vulnerable adults, seeking to maintain control of their property, is important. S.205 ensures an owner who is entitled to the special assessment ratio for owner-occupied residential property, that becomes a patient at a nursing home or community residential care facility, retains the four percent (4%) assessment ratio and applicable exemptions. This is as long as the owner otherwise qualifies, has intention to return to the property and the property is not rented in excess of seventy-two (72) days in a year.
FLOOD REPAIR — The state has been affected by several natural disasters in the past years and is still recovering from the resulting damages. The Senate passed S.217 to allow revenue collected by Local Hospitality Tax and Local Accommodations Tax to be expended for control and repair of flooding and drainage within tourism-related lands or areas, or a site preparation, demolition, repair or construction.
CLARIFYING CIVIL DAMAGES — South Carolinians step up to the plate and are active in improving our local communities. Involvement comes with responsibility. S.333 provides that probation officers, court personnel, county and municipal personnel, public officials, charitable organizations and private volunteers are not liable for civil damages in community services programs with probationers, unless an injury or damages result from gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct. This provision does not grant immunity to a driver transporting a probationer who, by his negligence, injures probationer on community service.
FEDERAL RESEARCH AND RESPONSIBILITY — The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution, S.169, to urge the federal government, Congress and the U.S. Attorney General, to conduct research on the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses.
ANOTHER SOUTH CAROLINA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP — Senate Bill 343 congratulates the Clemson University Football Team for winning the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, and to invite the team, coaches and officials to join the General Assembly in a joint session at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. This was adopted by the House in addition to the Senate.
CELEBRATING THE UOFSC — The Senate passed a resolution, S.403, to appreciate the outstanding opportunities that the University of South Carolina affords to the Palmetto State and to our citizens, and declare January 30, 2019 as “Carolina Day” at the State House. This was adopted by the House in addition to the Senate.
RESPONDING TO THE SHUTDOWN — South Carolina is home to many great citizens employed by or impacted by the federal government. Senate Bill 418 is a resolution to seek relief for those impacted by the shutdown seeking relief for memorialize banks, credit unions, utility providers, and other lending institutions operating in South Carolina to assist federal employees affected by the federal government shutdown.